07 June 2009

Formatting for Submission

Same writer as in the previous post has finished her outline, synopsis, and bio, and her entire book has been edited and is now ready to go out to interested agents.

In making sure her attachments can be opened -- some problems arose earlier because instead of word doc files, she had gif files and docx files I could not open -- this time I could open. When I did, I caught a couple of issues which I addressed in an email, a portion of which I include here:

Comments on formatting (these are no biggies, but I believe industry standards???):
1) Appears you've justified both margins, meaning the words begin and end on each line at the same place. It's best if the right margin is more ragged-looking and you only justify the left.

2) You've place the page numbers on the bottom right. "Should" be at the top right.

In sending these comments to you, I can hear a short story friend rant about picky rules when submitting to literary contests. She's highly creative, bigger-than-life writer, as I imagine you to be. She rails against such "left-brain" sort of rules as I imagine you do. I do, too. Most of us do except those lucky ones who like organization and order and rules...

These submission guidelines are yet another challenge -- antagonist -- writers must overcome. Yes, there are those writers who are picked up who break all the rules. They are the exception. Yes, you, too, can be an exception, but if you can, why not format your submission in such a way that all the agent notices is the writing.......

P.S. -- Yes, I am quite aware that this is not a "plot" issue. Yet, I am confident that most of you reading this blog will, if you haven't already, one day hit this phase in your writing life -- the submission process -- and may benefit. That's my hope anyway...